Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Rather Strong Flare-Up...

Last Saturday (7/14), i did a 36 mile bike ride. I was quite busy running around all weekend afterwards. The following week, work was pretty intense and stressful until Wednesday. I was quite sore and my hips were pretty hurting from the bike ride so I didn't work out at all until Wednesday (swim, 1,100 meters). Thursday night when i got home from work, i started feeling quite tired. I lost my appetite and my head was just all clogged up. It was rather odd - because until Wednesday i was feeling fine.

Perhaps it was the fact that all the stressful events at work calmed down for the time being and all the pent up tension was being released. Perhaps also was the fact that i have been dealing with some of personal annoyances (people-related) that just got me irritated and stressed out. Perhaps all the long rides have been catching up on me. I have no idea what the real reason is. But then again, for us Fibro patients, we never know what the real reasons are for anything.

I passed out that night pretty early, slept more than 8 hours, only to wake up in the morning (after waking like 4 times during the night) with a pretty strong sensation of shoulder/neck tightness and pain. Now, I haven't had Fibro flareups like this in a WHILE. I'm talking almost a year. It scared the living daylights out of me because my immediate mental response was "my training season is over." Well, i caught myself in my own negative thoughts and shook my head. I was trying to get up, but also realizing that my ankles were achy, and felt hot - not literally hot, but it felt like they were burning. That was another sensation i haven't felt in a while to that degree. It was frustrating.

I had an acupuncture appointment later that morning, fortunately. So instead of going to work first i waited for some of the symptoms to dissipate until i had to leave for my appointment. It wasn't easy. During this time, my mind kept going in and out of negativity and the worst scenarios - my biggest concern was, of course, "did i do myself harm by training? Should i stop?" But it was too early to tell. i could still have the same flare ups without the workouts - and i used to! So I didn't believe in my thoughts - and just got up, dragged myself into the shower (usually helps with pain) and started getting ready for my appointment.

The rest of the day was rough. rough, rough rough. I did have an important meeting that afternoon at work so i had to show up - Acupuncture helped my pain, but i was still feeling so worn out.

I sat in front of my computer, and when i was not working, I was just going through my thoughts and checking out my mind - what have i been thinking lately? Am i being positive? Am i tired (mentally)? What is going on that's causing me the stress, if not the physical stress?

Most of the time, this kind of mental inventory check i find extremely helpful. I was kinda sorta meditating to take any discouraging, annoying or negative thoughts out of my head - no matter what they were or how justified i thought they were. I really believe that 70% or so of my flareups come from my mind - something in my mind triggers the pain switches. I needed to flat out the ripples in my mind...take it easy at work, be happy, be positive, don't stress and just get work done... i kept telling myself.

Towards the end of the day, i was better. I still had to rest the rest of the evening, but I was far better than i was in the morning. Improvement was all i was hoping for.

This morning (Saturday) - i had to forego my long bike ride and went swimming instead. 1,400 meters. slow and steady, over about 46 minutes, including some substantial rests between laps. I was not about pushing myself today. I felt good in the water, and i was happy that i wasn't feeling that head-blurriness i was feeling last week.

Right now I'm just relaxing after cleaning up the house, running some errands and talking to some people. I am happy that i'm back on track, about 90%. Ankles are still a bit achy, but i am just massaging them now. I'm taking my Greenergy, Overdrive tablets and a new herbal powder that my acupuncturist gave me for Fibro. Tomorrow is a long day, hosting a friend's baby shower, so I have to save some energy for myself. It is rather funny that i have to save energy for running errands, but during tough times energy management is everything. This is all a part of living well, despite my limits.

I will not let this incident get to me. I'm going to keep fighting with my mind. I'm going to keep experimenting, I'm going to be smart about this.

Hopefully in two weeks I will find out more about how my training is making me feel. I am sure it will be for the better, overall.

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